The euro zone no longer questions whether to restructure Greece’s debt but rather how best to go about it, ECB Executive Board member Benoit Coeure said in a newspaper interview published Monday.
Coeure told French daily Le Monde that all euro zone countries wanted Greece to remain in the shared currency bloc and were prepared to offer “unprecedented financial solidarity” as long as Greece carried out reforms.
“In truth, the question is not whether to restructure Greece’s debt but rather how to do it so that it would be really useful for the country’s economy,” he said.
“That’s why it’s important to make this restructuring, whatever form it takes, conditional on the application of measures that reinforce the economy and ensure the sustainability of Greek public finances,” he added.
Coeure defended the European Central Bank in the face of criticism about its handling of Greece, saying that the ECB had always stuck to its mandate during the crisis.
With five months of negotiations causing huge economic and financial costs for Greece, he said the crisis had exposed how deeply flawed the euro zone’s decision-making was and urged more integration in order to take tough decisions effectively.
“The genie of euro zone exit has escaped in the Greek crisis and won’t easily get back in the bottle,” he said.